April 8, 2015, 04:03 PM
Too ambitious plan for one day family trip?
We are staying a week in Tuscany in June. We have four children aged 5 to 9 and we are visiting Tuscany for the first time. Obviously we also want to visit Florence, but maybe only for one day. I have some kind of plan, but I was wondering, if there is simply too much for one day.
We would arrive in Florence around 10 am, leave the car at Piazzale Michelangelo and walk from there to the Duomo. Propably we would only see the church and skip the bell tower and the dome. Unless they are strongly recommended.
Then we would walk to Piazza del Signoria via Piazza della Repubblica. On the way we would take quick lunch with us, maybe some sandwiches, and eat them at Piazza del Signoria. Then we would go to the Uffizi Galleria somewhere around 12-1pm.
From there we would walk to Ponte Vecchio and towards Pitti Palace. And again take something to eat. And then we would go to Boboli Gardens and maybe the Treasure Museum around 5 pm. And then we would walk via Forte Belvedere back to Piazzale Michelangelo and be back at the car around 8pm.
What do you think?
April 8, 2015, 05:30 PM
Walking with kids
Obviously you know your kids best and how much walking they will do before getting a bit grumpy...It does seem like quite a bit of walking. I personally would try to cut back on the walking just a bit - Perhaps if you straight to downtown and left your car at the train station you could cut your walking time and have more time for enjoying the scenery.
You can do the Duomo, then walk down to Piazza Signoria (admire) then walk over to Ponte a Vecchio and end up at Boboli Gardens for lunch. I would bring something to eat and picnic while in Boboli Gardens where the kids can run - relax and let loose just a bit.
Book your visit to the museum so that after lunch you can go out and head right over to the Uffizzi.
Walk back to the car, then drive up to Piazzale Michelangelo and enjoy the sunset as well as something to eat. Again this will give the kids lots of space to get all their energy out before putting them in the car to go back home.
April 9, 2015, 10:42 AM
Thank You very much for Your fast answere!
You are propably right about the walking. But I am a bit intimidated about the thought of driving in Florence and therefore picked the Piazzale Michelangelo for a parking place. Is there a big difference if we go to station?
Would there be an option to take a bus from Michelangelo to the Duomo? Is there a big difference to walk to the centre from Piazzale Michelangelo than from the station? In Google maps there doesn't seem to bee very big difference in those two routes.
The other thing is that I've read that there wouldn't be quite that many people in Uffizi at lunch time so we would like to try to be there then. And also I am wondering if the kids will be too tired to concentrate at the Uffizi in the afternoon.
About reservations. I was planning to go to Uffizi and get an Amici degli Uffizi family card. (If we get online tickets Uffizi and Boboli would be around 80€ so the 100€ card would not be that much more. Firenze cards on the other hand would be 144€ for the adults, which is quite much if only go to two places.) Have I understood that if we take the Uffizi card, we don't need reservation? But we would anyway have to first stop at Uffizi to pick the card, before going to Boboli.
We are definetily rethinking the route and concidering Your suggestion!
April 9, 2015, 05:42 PM
The route to drive to the train station parking lot is basically just one, and it is to NOT go into the ZTL area. It goes from the viale Lavagnini and you NEED to take Via Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, which turns into Via Nazionale and then into Largo Fratelli Alinari - at that point you arrive at a turnabout and the parking lot entrance is on the right to go underneath the train station. The parking is paid, one of the most expensive as far as paid parking lots go.
If you don't feel comfortable in taking this route, the next best lot is the one in Piazza Beccaria... as you arrive in Florence, you follow signs for it and there is no way to enter into the ZTL area. It is right on the viali.
I understand Piazzale Michelangelo is attractive - free parking and a view - but it is UP on a hill. You can catch a bus from there (bus #12) which will take you down to the Arno river (or consider walking down but catching bus #13 up from the river to the Piazzale once you're tired).
If you do park on the piazzale, then it makes more sense to walk down to Ponte Vecchio, cross the river and head to the Uffizi. Buy the Amici degli Uffizi card right away - check the crowds outside, if not too long, go ahead and visit the museum then. If there are crowds, head back later as it means the museum is full. You won't need reservations, just head to the top of the line at Gate 2 and they'll let you in. Lunch time is a good time to visit, especially during high season (which June is), as it is the time with less crowds. But expect lots of visitors in any case.
Near the Uffizi, go to Ino for great sandwiches:
Then, either before or after the Uffizi, I'd head to Piazza del Duomo - this will take you right by Piazza della Signoria as well. With the card, you don't have to worry about times (as prebooked tickets do require you to show up at the precise time you booked for) and can take your time.
Since you're in Tuscany for a whole week, I really do suggest you take your time in Florence as to not be rushed. If the day is beautiful, head to Boboli instead of the cathedral. Or do the cathedral and come back for Boboli another day. Enjoy the city - even if you're only planning on a day in Florence, if you feel like coming back, then definitely do so. With 4 children all under 10, I think you'll just have to see how things develop and go with the flow. With the Amici card, valid for the full year, you can come back another day and do the Boboli when you want.
By all means - don't take the Forte Belvedere route back to Piazzale Michelangelo UNLESS you are already there at the Boboli at the end of the day. The fortress is on top of a hill, you'll be at that height only if you're at the Boboli at the very top, where the Porcelain museum is at - there is an exit from the Boboli gardens right next to the Forte Belvedere... but if you aren't there, head along the river until you get to the San Niccolo area and them climb up (or take the bus). If you decide to walk to the fortress, you have to climb a hill to up there, then go back down the entire hill and climb up ANOTHER hill to get to the Piazzale Michelangelo - yep, two separate hills, with a steep, narrow one way road between them (no sidewalk). So keep that in mind, it isn't easy to realize this from a simple map so I'm telling you now!
April 9, 2015, 06:37 PM
I can't thank You enough!
I hadn't realised that Boboli and P. Michelangelo are not on the same hill, that makes a big difference! So the Piazza Beccaria does feel better.
You are right about the timings with the reserved tickets, we don't want a tight scedule. Also Your advice to head first to Uffizi and then decide sounds good.
As said we are a week in Tuscany, but after first driving there all the way from Scandinavia and after the week driving back north again, so we do need some rest in Tuscany also We stay a little over one hour away from Florence, but I think we will want to be in the car as little as possible at that point.
But we are planning to rest the first day at the pool, and propably the last one too. One day in Florence and one in Lucca and Pisa (maybe Monday) and one in Vinci in the Leonardo museum (for the kids, or is there something better for them?). So we actually do have one day not planned yet. Maybe we'll keep there an option to return to Florence.
April 10, 2015, 08:59 AM
Actually after looking again Leonardo museums in Vinci and in Florence, I now think we will skip Vinci and go to Florence for two days. Since we are in Tuscany from Saturday to Saturday, the first visit to Florence would be either on Monday or on Tuesday and then we would go to the Leonardo museum and the Duomo and the second time to Florence would be on Wednesday or Thursday and then we would go to the Uffizi and Boboli.
Is there a difference which days of the above should we choose?
April 10, 2015, 09:45 AM
Sounds perfect! No, just keep in mind that the Uffizi is closed on Mondays, the Boboli on the 1st and last Monday of the month... the Duomo and Leonardo museum have no closing dates, so you should be fine if you do come on a Monday doing those first.
Vinci is a really small but charming village, if you're in the area during that week you could still do a quick stop, whether you visit the Leonardo museum there or not ;-)
April 16, 2015, 01:24 PM
Thanks for Your answere once again!
I still have some questions for You, if You don't mind.
The Uffizi is closed on Mondays, and the Amici Degli Uffizi ticket Office will propably be closed too? Otherwise it would be convinient to get the card already on our first day to Florence. We could also go to Pisa on Monday, if we wouldn't go to any museums there. Is there some must see museums with kids in Pisa? If we do decide to go to Florence for the first time on Tuesday, should we go to get the Amici degli Uffizi card already on Tuesday afternoon or can we trust there isn't too many people to do the same on Wednesday or Thursday morning when we are going to the Gallery?
For the second day in Florence I was concidering to first leave the car at
Porta Romana, but it seems to be quite tiny. Is that a good idea to even try to?
April 27, 2015, 07:23 PM
Sorry I had missed this..... yes, the Amici office will also be closed on Monday. So you'll need to wait to get the card, there generally is no line there at the office so just get it before you plan to visit.
The parking at Porta Romana along the inside wall is small but you will also find street parking on the other side of the wall on viale Petrarca.... keep going along there, there are lots of chances to find something!
As far as Pisa goes, there is the Leaning Tower but your youngest children won't be able to climb it (only over 8 can go in and climb, up to 12 you need to hold their hand - they really don't want anyone falling out!) But there are lots of pigeons, make sure to let them run and chase them and spend time outdoors at children's playgrounds when you see them Most towns have them. The Botanical garden in Pisa is a place I'd recommend with kids as it is quite close to the main sights.